Japan’s home run king couldn’t help but admire Shohei Ohtani (29) of the Japanese national team, who is about to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
On the 6th, Ohtani started as the designated hitter in the match against the Hanshin Tigers in the WBC official evaluation match held at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan, and played a big role with 2 homers and 6 RBIs in 3 at-bats. Thanks to Ohtani’s performance, the Japanese national team won 8-1.
Ohtani, who won the 2021 American League MVP, also performed well last season in both pitches and came second in the MVP vote. In 157 games as a hitter, he went 2.7 3s (160 hits in 586 at-bats) with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs for an OPS of .875.
Ohtani’s tremendous power shone in this match. In his second at-bat, he kicked up a low forkball from Hanshin starter Hiroto Saiki and hit a large three-run home run that went over the center wall. Ohtani bent his knees to hit the low-dropping ball and made a swing as the batting form collapsed, but the ball went over the fence. He hit a three-run homer in his third at-bat as well.
Ohtani’s cartoon-like performance impressed even Nippon Professional Baseball’s home run king Yamakawa Hotaka. Japanese media Nikkan Sports said, “Ohtani’s two home runs surprised even the Pacific League home run king. The first home run was hit with one hand as he got down on his knee, and the second home run flew as the bat broke.” 윈 토토
Yamakawa is a home run hitter who played an active role in 129 games last season with a batting average of .266 (119 hits in 448 at-bats), 41 home runs, and 90 RBIs with an OPS of .953. He led the Pacific League in home runs and RBI. In this game, he played as a pinch hitter and struck out two.
Yamakawa admired, “How can I express that home run?” “I really want to quit baseball. really not funny It’s unreasonable to do that. I’m trying my best to do what I can, but I don’t feel like I’m playing the same game. (The second home run had a broken bat), and the first home run was a joke. I hope you’re not kidding. The level is different,” he said with a wry smile.
Ohtani is expected to play the central batting line for the Japanese national team. As a pitcher, it is likely to start the opening match against China on the 9th. Japan will play Korea on the 10th. Fans are looking forward to what kind of performance Ohtani will show at the WBC.